How to Plant a Vegetable Garden in Indiana

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Indiana is known for its fertile soils, which make it a top-producing agricultural state. Vegetable gardens in Indiana also produce a fine product, as long as you tend them correctly. You can plant a garden for spring, summer or fall in Indiana. Knowing when to plant, when to harvest and how to care for your crops are among the most vital pieces of information to take into account when planning and tending your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller or hoe (for preparing soil)
  • Organic material (topsoil, compost or the like)
  • Seeds or young plants

Preparation

  • Plan your garden before planting. If you're planting a large garden with several varieties of vegetables, you need to plan where each crop will go. Draw the plan for better organization and preparation.

  • Prepare your soil. Although Indiana has very fertile soil, there is also an abundance of clay. Till your garden's soil and remove all weeds and rocks.

  • Add topsoil or other organic materials such as compost, clippings and natural fertilizer to your soil.

  • Order your seeds well before planting, if starting from seed. Start plants such as tomatoes and peppers indoors, or purchase young plants instead of seeds.

Planting the Garden

  • Group early harvest plants together in your garden. Examples include radishes and lettuce.

  • Plant tall plants at the north end, according to the Home Gardener's Guide from Purdue University. Planting at the north end prevents overshadowing the lower-growing plants. Examples include corn and tomatoes.

  • Leave room in your garden for timed planting. Timed planting allows for a constant harvest throughout the season. For example, plant quick-growing vegetables in groups every other week or so. Since these plants grow quickly, it is sometimes hard to harvest and use all of the vegetables before they go bad.

  • Water and weed your garden as needed. Weeds will choke out the vegetables, and Indiana's summers are known to go through periods of drought.

Planting a Fall Garden

  • Plan a fall garden to continue harvesting well past the typical gardening season. Indiana's cool temperatures in fall ease the burden of crops going to seed in the hot sun and pests are not as prominent, according to Purdue University Extension's Department of Horticulture.

  • Order your fall-harvest seeds when you order your spring seeds. This helps ensure the seeds are not sold out before you plant your fall garden.

  • Clear out any weeds or the leftover parts of your spring garden. You need to plant most fall garden vegetables before the middle of August, so you can harvest before damaging frost sets in.

  • Plant your seeds and transplants. Care for them as you would a spring garden.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant corn in several short rows. Be sure to harvest plants as soon as possible to prevent them going to seed or being damaged by pests or heat.

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References

  • Photo Credit vegetable medley image by Liz Van Steenburgh from Fotolia.com
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